The Chinese insurance market has grown at a furious pace in recent years. Between 2000 and 2014, the industry grew about 1,200% in size as measured by written premiums. During this same period, most of the largest Chinese insurance companies listed shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and other exchanges as part of an effort to reform the industry by reducing government control, increasing transparency, and exposing the companies to the demands of the market and shareholders. Today, the biggest insurance companies in China rank among the largest companies in the world in terms of market capitalization.
China Life Insurance Co., Ltd.
With a market capitalization of about $107 billion, China Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (NYSE: LFC) is the biggest insurance company in China and one of the top insurance companies in the world. China Life traces its roots to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. It operates life insurance and property and casualty insurance businesses, and it also offers asset management services and other financial services.
China Life maintains a substantial nationwide service network, with nearly 750,000 dedicated agents and more than 60,000 service outlets. The company's customer base approaches a combined 200 million people in individual and group life insurance policies, long-term health insurance policies and annuities. China Life is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
Ping An of China
Ping An of China was founded in 1988 and held its initial public offering (IPO) in 2004. While the company began as a property and casualty insurance company, it has since expanded into the life insurance, banking, online financial services and wealth management businesses with the stated goal of becoming a comprehensive financial services provider. It has a market capitalization of about $90 billion.
Ping An employs more than 225,000 full-time employees and partners with more than 625,000 sales agents across China. The company counts more than 89 million customers across its business units. Ping An is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
China Pacific Insurance
China Pacific Insurance Group is an integrated insurance provider offering property and casualty insurance, life insurance and reinsurance products, as well as asset management and investment services. The company counts more than 300,000 agents across its businesses and serves about 80 million customers across the country. China Pacific Insurance traces its roots to 1991. It was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2007 and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2009. It has a market capitalization of more than $33 billion.
People's Insurance Company of China Group
People's Insurance Company of China Group was established in 1949. Today, its subsidiaries count more than 300 million customers in property and casualty insurance, life insurance, health insurance, and real estate. Its most substantial subsidiary is PICC Property and Casualty Company, which sells a wide variety of non-life insurance products, including auto, homeowners, commercial property and agricultural policies. People's Insurance Company of China Group owns approximately 69% of outstanding PICC Property and Casualty shares. People's Insurance Company of China Group is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It has a market capitalization of about $21 billion.
New China Life Insurance
New China Life Insurance Company was founded in 1996 and has quickly grown into a top-five company in the industry. While its primary business remains life insurance, the company also has growing business interests in the investment industry and the health care industry. New China Life Insurance counts more than 26 million customers, 175,000 agents and 1,600 business locations across the country. The company was listed on both the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2011. It has a market capitalization of more than $17 billion.